writing lab report

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Writing lab report

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Present all the data from your experiment in this data without providing personal opinions and subjective comments. The conclusion or discussion section is where the interpretation of the numerical data and results are made. In addition to this, predictions are given in this part of the report as well.

To make your report believable and credible, state the weakness of your experiment, if any. It is believed that readers tend to pay more attention to the title, abstract, introduction, and conclusion of the report. For this purpose, make sure that they are interesting and informative. If the prompt requires, create a separate section for discussion and a whole new section for your conclusion.

If there have been many sources reviewed and taken information from, the works of other writers need to be cited within the text. Consult the lab manual to determine the referencing style. The most popular format for references among the thesis is the APA Style. Have a look at these APA formats to help you with your references. The last and most important step is to revise everything that is written in the report.

Re-check every detail in your report and make sure that it is free from all errors and mistakes. If you are writing a lab report for the first time, it is essential to know how important it is to write it professionally.

When writing a report for academics, students need to realize the worth of perfectly written reports. Go through these examples and write your lab report accordingly. Lab reports can be challenging if you are writing them for the first time. If you want your report to be impressive, make sure it includes an overview of the complete experiment and an objective interpretation of the results.

Following this guide will let you plan your experiment and write its report in a most professional and accurate manner. If you still find it difficult to write your lab report, get assistance from the experts online. Whether you are looking for lab reports or essays, we have writers that can offer you the desired help.

So place your order now to buy reports at the most reasonable prices. Lab Report Format. Exclusive access to the MyPerfectWords. You'll get weekly tips and tricks for improving your own writing and for achieving academic success through your writing. We are U. This is all that we do. Register Login. Paper Due? That's Our Job! Learn More. Table of Contents What is a Lab Report?

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The independent variable is what you manipulate to test the reaction; the dependent variable is what changes as a result of your manipulation. In the example above, the independent variable is the temperature of the solvent, and the dependent variable is the rate of solubility. Be sure that your hypothesis includes both variables. You need to do more than tell your readers what your hypothesis is; you also need to assure them that this hypothesis was reasonable, given the circumstances.

If you did pluck it out of thin air, your problems with your report will probably extend beyond using the appropriate format. But you can also motivate your hypothesis by relying on logic or on your own observations. Even such basic, outside-the-lab observations can help you justify your hypothesis as reasonable. Generally speaking, authors writing journal articles use the background for slightly different purposes than do students completing assignments.

In any event, both professional researchers and undergraduates need to connect the background material overtly to their own work. Once you have expressed your purpose, you should then find it easier to move from the general purpose, to relevant material on the subject, to your hypothesis.

In abbreviated form, an Introduction section might look like this:. Again—these are guidelines, not commandments. Some writers and readers prefer different structures for the Introduction. The one above merely illustrates a common approach to organizing material. Ultimately, others must be able to verify your findings, so your experiment must be reproducible, to the extent that other researchers can follow the same procedure and obtain the same or similar results. To this day, the viability of cold fusion is debated within the scientific community, even though an increasing number of researchers believe it possible.

So when you write your Methods section, keep in mind that you need to describe your experiment well enough to allow others to replicate it exactly. Writers often want to include the results of their experiment, because they measured and recorded the results during the course of the experiment. But such data should be reserved for the Results section. In the Methods section, you can write that you recorded the results, or how you recorded the results e.

As you draft your Methods section, ask yourself the following questions:. Describe the control in the Methods section. Here is an example:. Organization is especially important in the Methods section of a lab report because readers must understand your experimental procedure completely.

Increasingly, especially in the social sciences, using first person and active voice is acceptable in scientific reports. Most readers find that this style of writing conveys information more clearly and concisely. This rhetorical choice thus brings two scientific values into conflict: objectivity versus clarity.

The Results section is often both the shortest yay! Your Materials and Methods section shows how you obtained the results, and your Discussion section explores the significance of the results, so clearly the Results section forms the backbone of the lab report. Before you write this section, look at all the data you collected to figure out what relates significantly to your hypothesis.

Resist the urge to include every bit of data you collected, since perhaps not all are relevant. Nothing your readers can dispute should appear in the Results section. Most Results sections feature three distinct parts: text, tables, and figures. This should be a short paragraph, generally just a few lines, that describes the results you obtained from your experiment. Feel free to describe trends that emerge as you examine the data.

Although identifying trends requires some judgment on your part and so may not feel like factual reporting, no one can deny that these trends do exist, and so they properly belong in the Results section. As in the Materials and Methods section, you want to refer to your data in the past tense, because the events you recorded have already occurred and have finished occurring.

Tables are useful ways to show variation in data, but not to present a great deal of unchanging measurements. How useful is this table? As a rule, try not to use a table to describe any experimental event you can cover in one sentence of text. When you do have reason to tabulate material, pay attention to the clarity and readability of the format you use. Here are a few tips:. Compare this table, in which the data appear vertically:.

The second table shows how putting like elements in a vertical column makes for easier reading. In this case, the like elements are the measurements of length and height, over five trials—not, as in the first table, the length and height measurements for each trial. This convention exists because journals prefer not to have to reproduce these lines because the tables then become more expensive to print. Figures How do I include figures in my report? Although tables can be useful ways of showing trends in the results you obtained, figures i.

Lab report writers often use graphic representations of the data they collected to provide their readers with a literal picture of how the experiment went. Under the same conditions, you would probably forgo the figure as well, since the figure would be unlikely to provide your readers with an additional perspective.

The strength of a table lies in its ability to supply large amounts of exact data, whereas the strength of a figure is its dramatic illustration of important trends within the experiment. Of course, an undergraduate class may expect you to create a figure for your lab experiment, if only to make sure that you can do so effectively. At the undergraduate level, you can often draw and label your graphs by hand, provided that the result is clear, legible, and drawn to scale.

Computer technology has, however, made creating line graphs a lot easier. Most word-processing software has a number of functions for transferring data into graph form; many scientists have found Microsoft Excel, for example, a helpful tool in graphing results. If you plan on pursuing a career in the sciences, it may be well worth your while to learn to use a similar program.

Here are some of these expectations:. In simple terms, here you tell your readers what to make of the Results you obtained. If you have done the Results part well, your readers should already recognize the trends in the data and have a fairly clear idea of whether your hypothesis was supported. Because the Results can seem so self-explanatory, many students find it difficult to know what material to add in this last section.

Basically, the Discussion contains several parts, in no particular order, but roughly moving from specific i. In this section, you will, as a rule, need to:. You might begin this part of the Discussion by explicitly stating the relationships or correlations your data indicate between the independent and dependent variables. Then you can show more clearly why you believe your hypothesis was or was not supported.

For example, if you tested solubility at various temperatures, you could start this section by noting that the rates of solubility increased as the temperature increased. If your initial hypothesis surmised that temperature change would not affect solubility, you would then say something like,.

Note: Students tend to view labs as practical tests of undeniable scientific truths. Also, recognize that saying whether the data supported your hypothesis or not involves making a claim to be defended. As such, you need to show the readers that this claim is warranted by the evidence. In a scientific paper, by contrast, you would need to defend your claim more thoroughly by pointing to data such as slurred words, unsteady gait, and the lampshade-as-hat. In addition to pointing out these details, you would also need to show how according to previous studies these signs are consistent with inebriation, especially if they occur in conjunction with one another.

To put it another way, tell your readers exactly how you got from point A was the hypothesis supported? You need to take these exceptions and divergences into account, so that you qualify your conclusions sufficiently. The key to making this approach work, though, is to be very precise about the weakness in your experiment, why and how you think that weakness might have affected your data, and how you would alter your protocol to eliminate—or limit the effects of—that weakness.

These speculations include such factors as the unusually hot temperature in the room, or the possibility that their lab partners read the meters wrong, or the potentially defective equipment. If, for example, your hypothesis dealt with the changes in solubility at different temperatures, then try to figure out what you can rationally say about the process of solubility more generally. Another is to try to identify a conversation going on among members of that community, and use your work to contribute to that conversation.

On a more pragmatic level, especially for undergraduates, connecting your lab work to previous research will demonstrate to the TA that you see the big picture. Capitalize on this opportunity by putting your own work in context. If, for example, researchers are hotly disputing the value of herbal remedies for the common cold, and the results of your study suggest that Echinacea diminishes the symptoms but not the actual presence of the cold, then you might want to take some time in the Discussion section to recapitulate the specifics of the dispute as it relates to Echinacea as an herbal remedy.

Consider that you have probably already written in the Introduction about this debate as background research. This information is often the best way to end your Discussion and, for all intents and purposes, the report.